"Pelosi is being held hostage": Gallagher talks Democrats, compromise on border security
(WLUK) -- "Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi simply has no ideas."
That's how District 8 Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) started the talk-back with Fox News' Bill Hemmer on Wednesday.
The Congressman says Pelosi isn't "making a serious effort to compromise."
Pointing to Pelosi's recent vacation, he says the Democratic Speaker is focused on "denying the President a victory" and the President's proposal for a border wall.
It comes after President Trump reportedly walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders, including Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer.
The President took to Twitter calling the meeting with Pelosi and Schumer "a total waste of time," after Pelosi supposedly denied his demands for a wall or steel barrier.
Schumer says the President's actions are "really, really unfortunate."
Gallagher says Democrats should be looking to fix the problem.
The White House says it's looking at a list of requests for increasing border security, including:
- Steel barrier for the Southwest border
- 750 additional border patrol agents
- 1,000 additional law enforcement personnel and support staff
- 52,000 detention beds for influx of "border crossers"
- Enhanced medical support, supplies and additional temporary facilities for processing and short-term custody of "border crossers"
When asked how many of those requests Democrats be willing to agree to, Gallagher says he thinks the proposals are a "common sense" move, and "a lot" of Democrats would agree.
He also says there's just one problem.
Pelosi is being held hostage by the Progressive caucus on the Democratic side, which is completely unwilling to compromise.
Gallagher goes on to say that Democrats have to be willing to meet in the middle, and a complete denial isn't a "serious proposal."
But Democrats argue they are willing to compromise, on investing in border security.
Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, says "We need to invest in infrastructure and personnel, and we need to secure the border using smart technology, drones, cargo inspections and satellites."
The Republican Congressman also recognized President Trump's Tuesday night television address, commending it as serious.
Right after that address, top Democratic leaders held an address of their own, in which Pelosi says the President's rhetoric has been "full of misinformation and even malice."
While President Trump accused Democrats of being unwilling to fund border security, Schumer said America's symbol "should be the Statue of Liberty, not a 30-foot wall."
Fixing the Problem
When it comes to compromise, Gallagher says Congress needs to take a "bottom-up" process.
He suggests finding compromise in relevant Congressional committees, such as the Homeland Security Committee.
Putting pressure on newly elected lawmakers, Gallagher says he wants to see if the "younger members can work something out."
Meanwhile, the partial government shutdown continues heading into Day 19.
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